Rodney McLeod. (Jeff Fusco)
Jalen Mills stood in the middle of a circle made up of the Eagles’ defensive backs before their game against the Vikings. Located in the tunnel just before running out onto Lincoln Financial Field, the rookie raised his voice.
“How the f-ck they going to say they’re the best defense in this f-cking league, and we sitting right here?” Mills said. “How the f-ck they going say that?”
Perhaps Minnesota said that because they visited Philadelphia ranked first in the NFL in points per game allowed. Or perhaps Minnesota said that because it was a practically unanimous view point among those who followed football. But regardless of the reason, the Eagles’ defense dismissed it as they staked a claim of their own Sunday by dominating in their 21-10 win over the Vikings. Read more »
Josh Huff. (Jeff Fusco)
The Eagles beat the previously undefeated Vikings, 21-10, as Philadelphia’s defense and special teams dominated. Here’s what we saw: Read more »
Photo by: USA Today Sports.
In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, here are the best Eagles links from around the web as the Birds prepare for their Monday Night Football showdown against the Chicago Bears. Read more »
This is not usually what you look like after consuming a lot of pizza | Photos: Santucci’s pizza photo by Dan McQuade; Connor Barwin photo by Jeff Fusco
Connor Barwin recently did an interview with GQ about his diet. Barwin is listed as 6-foot-4, 264 pounds — and in modern pro sports, every extra little bit counts. So he works out a lot, and he also eats a lot. He detailed his diet and pre-game ritual for the magazine, but he also explained his one cheat:
You obviously try to get protein and amino acids back. My normal routine is coming home and getting pizza—but that’s more for relaxing. Mushroom pizza always from Santucci’s in Philadelphia. Always.
Read more »
Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)
The Eagles remained in pads today, and had one of their longest practices of training camp so far. Here’s what we saw. Read more »
Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)
Before the Eagles begin training camp tomorrow with all of their players practicing, veterans reported to the NovaCare Complex today for meetings. On their way in, several guys stopped to address the media about their teammates’ off-the-field incidents this offseason, including the rape accusation against Nelson Agholor — although he wasn’t charged — and Nigel Bradham’s arrest this week for allegedly assaulting an employee in a Miami hotel.
Malcolm Jenkins noted that he doesn’t think the team needs to talk about off-the-field expectations, and that the coaches can handle it.
“I don’t think we need to talk. Guys get in trouble all around the league. Stuff happens,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure the coaches have a plan to deal with that. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a distraction.” Read more »
Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)
If you’re curious why Jim Schwartz believes his aggressive 4-3 is better than the typical two-gap system, consider kickoff coverage. Teams no longer preach the “stay in your lane” adage, Schwartz says, because if one person leaves his lane, the returner picks up a lot of yards. Instead, coverage units now attack in levels, and that’s precisely what the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator has built his system around.
“You have guys that are disruptors, guys that attack the blocks and other guys that play leverage off of them,” Schwartz said. “If we are going to play attack up front — and we are, because we want to put those guys in position to be able to rush the passer and play the run on the way to the quarterback — the linebackers have to be tied and the safeties have to be tied in.
“It’s a lot different than two-gap because when you’re playing two-gap … you’re generally building a wall along the front and guys are sort of falling back and linebackers are generally shuffling laterally more because your defensive linemen are going laterally. When you play an attack front up front, your linebackers have to come downhill. They have to plug those holes.” Read more »
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.
We started the series off by looking at the linebacking corps. Let’s move onto the defensive front: Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Connor Barwin and Fletcher Cox issued separate statements Friday evening amid reports that they were in attendance at Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club with Nelson Agholor Thursday afternoon.
“As a result of my name being mentioned in conjunction with this alleged incident, I would like to clarify that I was only present at the establishment for a very short period of time and have no knowledge about anything that happened after I left the establishment,” said Barwin. I stopped by there for about a half hour to meet my teammates and left around 2:30 p.m.”
Agholor has been accused of sexual assault. A 27-year-old dancer told police that she was raped inside the club about 3 p.m. on Thursday, Philadelphia magazine’s David Gambacorta reports. You can read the full story here.
Photo by: Jeff Fusco
Mychal Kendricks‘ “Welcome To Philadelphia” moment came in the aftermath of a home loss a couple seasons back. He heard his name being howled from above the tunnel and against his better judgment, looked up as he was heading off the field.
“Some dude got my attention and he’s like, ‘Kendricks!’ — he was crying — ‘Kendricks! You ruined my liiiife!’ I mean bawling. He was drunk. ‘You ruined my life!’ I’m like, ‘Sh*t, I’m the sad one. We just lost a game.’ That was fairly intense.”
For Najee Goode, it was an attention-grabber of an entirely different variety.
“Man, going up to an autograph signing in 2013 and seeing a chick with body paint on her top half — Eagles body paint. I’m like, ‘These motherf*&%ers crazy,'” he said with a laugh. “I liked it though, but I was like, ‘Damn.'”
Dennis Kelly‘s came in the form of advice via the always civil world of social media.
“Somebody told me to jump off the Ben Franklin onto a bed of spikes through Twitter after a game,” he said. “That was a nice little [piece] of critical feedback.”
None of the dozen or so Eagles players polled by Birds 24/7 have had a similar experience to the one Ryan Howard went through at Citizens Bank Park last weekend when the slumping slugger had a beer bottle thrown at him on his way back to the dugout (though there are members of this coaching staff who would tell you that J.D. Drew isn’t the only one to have Duracells flung in his direction). Such incidents, though, can trigger an examination of the relationship between professional athletes in Philadelphia and the fans. Read more »